NHL Evening Rumor Mill – June 17, 2014

Updates on Jason Spezza, Ryan O’Reilly and R.J. Umberger, plus the latest on the Devils and Predators. 

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski cites TSN’s Darren Dreger claiming Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza has placed the other Canadian NHL teams, along with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and New York Islanders, on his ten-team “no-trade” list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s also believed the Senators prefer not to ship Spezza to an Eastern Conference team. I concur with Wyshynski the Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues and perhaps the Dallas Stars are the favorites to acquire him. Those clubs have the depth in promising young talent to entice the Senators. 

Could the Avalanche shop Ryan O'Reilly by the NHL draft?

Could the Avalanche shop Ryan O’Reilly by the NHL draft?

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports Ryan O’Reilly’s agent Pat Morris isn’t pleased by the Colorado Avalanche’s decision to take his client to arbitration. Morris said O’Reilly wants to stay in Colorado but the two sides aren’t close to working out a long-term deal. Morris seems to imply his client’s value is $6.5 million (his salary for 2013-14), but his actual cap hit was $5 million, which seems to be what the Avs consider as the start point for negotiations.

Morris notes under NHL arbitration rules his client is eligible for UFA status in two years, suggesting it appears they’ll go year-to-year until his UFA eligibility.  Dater now believes the Avalanche could shop O’Reilly, noting he can receive an offer sheet from July 1-5.  He feels O’Reilly could fetch “a stud defenseman” as part of the return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A very interesting situation unfolding in Colorado with O’Reilly. Blame the previous Avs regime for totally cocking up this situation. Had they simply re-signed O’Reilly last season rather than engaging in a contract standoff, they wouldn’t have been forced to match a two-year, $10 million offer sheet from the Calgary Flames, which wouldn’t have created this current situation. Perhaps the Avs try to shop him, though I suspect their preference is to re-sign him.

 So, what’s the asking price gonna be? Forget about prying P.K. Subban away from Montreal, as one reader suggested, or Ryan McDonagh from the NY Rangers. Ain’t gonna happen. O’Reilly’s a very good young two-way forward, but he’s not yet on the same level as Subban and McDonagh, who are now legit young NHL superstars. 

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports the Blue Jackets are actively trying to trade winger R.J. Umberger, who recently requested a trade. Over the weekend Umberger presented the Jackets with a ten-team “no-trade” list. The Jackets will try to move him by the NHL draft weekend. Failing that, they could consider using a compliance buyout. They could be force to “eat” some of Umberger’s remaining contract (three years, $4.6 million annually) .

NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Devils GM Lou Lamoriello remains undecided if he’ll use his remaining compliance buyout. Chere listed Anton Volchenkov and Bryce Salvador as possible buyout candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello has until 5 pm ET on June 30 to use that buyout. He could use the current time to try and trade one of those blueliners to free up cap space.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports the asking price for the Nashville Predators’ first-round pick (11th overall) is a top-six forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, the Predators intend to keep their pick, then…


  1. You know it’s getting exciting when lyles doing 3 a days lol

    • Yep pounding them out till vacation time….what a trooper :-)

      • What is this “vacation” of which you speak?

        • Come on now Lyle, a week or 10 days after free agency there will probably be enough of a lull to kick back relax for a week or so….you know what they say, all work and no play…

          • You’re forgetting arbitration starts in late-July. If Ryan O’Reilly ends up going before an arbiter, he’ll be the focus of intense speculation. Hopefully sometime in mid-to-late August things will slow down enough to take a week off.

  2. I’d love to see O’Reilly in BUF. We need C, they need D. If COL resigns Stastny, maybe send O’Reilly to BUF for Tyler Myers + a 2nd round pick?

    Is there anyone left in BUF we could trade for that 11th overall? Drew Stafford and ??? Hodgson?

    • RoR will get more than Myers and a second.

    • Myers’ value is absolutely terrible right now. His stats are declining every year and he’s a hefty price. Sabres need him to bounce back before they can trade him, or they’re not going to get much for him.

  3. IMO the Stars will trade for Spezza. Jim Nill has shown his will to make blockbuster deals. And they have the cap space now and next season to re-sign Spezza with Horcoff, Cole and Gonchar coming off the books.

    • I don’t think they should go after Spezza myself… I’d like to see them try Brad Richards out again.

      Spezza is better than Richards at this stage of their careers, but he won’t turn Dallas into a contender, will cost them really more than he’s worth since he’s injury prone, and Richards would come for free after the buyout.

      Spezza essentially crossed out all the clubs that would need him.

      • Spoken like a shrewd businessman. Richards would be my choice too because your advantage is not giving up something of value in order to get the same return.

    • I would love to see the Red Wings acquire Spezza or Thornton. Either would be a great 2nd line center and help take the heat off of Datsyuk.

      I could see Franzen involved in a deal. Especially for Ottawa as they would get a player that is signed, so he won’t run away! Of course, there would be more involved with him.

      Dan Boyle would be a good fit in Detroit. I know they will need one defenseman of note. Right handed shot.

  4. O’reilly situation will be interesting indeed. I can’t see anyone trading for him before the offer sheet window as they would be vulnerable to an offer sheet them selves I believe. I honestly would hate if they got him but I think Montreal should make a push for him. Not to sure what they have that would interest Colorado…

    • There would have yo be a D man involved and I cant see one that the Habs have short of Subban that would get the conversation going, looking around the league I think it would have to be a team with s very deep blueline or a team almost completely retooling in order to give up a top 2 or 3 dman with other pieces (if its a 3 type guy Id think there needs to be more to the deal) Chicago perhaps but cap could be an issue, Boston?…same there. Tough to say with ROR. One thing for sure the Avs will be a way more complete team if they decide to move him, not everyday a guy like that becomes available.

      • True. Like I said I’m not to familiar with habs prospects to say what they’d have to give up. Avs would definitely want and man so what about yandle? He’s been out there a few times. Would Avs do a letang? Expensive contract. Or how about everyone’s favourite topic phaneuf? Leafs would have to add or take back parenteau in the deal too…

      • maybe philly should swap vinny + pick for umberger

    • I went over a whole bunch of O’Reilly trade scenarios last year. Keith Yandle is a name I’ll again return to. He’s got two years until he’s UFA, but Colorado can negotiate an extension.

      Colorado will want either an established NHL d-man who’s young and still improving, aged 22-27… who has first pairing potential. Or they’ll want two pretty high end prospects aged 20-22, or one all star prospect aged 20-22, and one of them will be a d-man. So using this criteria, think of offers.

      • Like I say its tough to find some matches especially outside the west Im sure that either side of a deal involving ROR would be reluctant to do such a deal in the division or possibly confrence even, but there are some good fits there imo. St, louis with possibly Shatenkirk or JBo for ROR being the main parts of a deal how would a 1 2 of Backes and ROR be? Chicago with maybe Hjalmersson, Boston with Marchand and Bartowski or Boychuk? Its one of the few guys who if made available it would be tough to pin down where he could end up. I am sure most teams would be interested, not sure what the cost would be but I imagine it has the makings of one of the bigger deals we have seen in a while if the Avs go down that road.

  5. THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports the asking price for the Nashville Predators’ first-round pick (11th overall) is a top-six forward.

    SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, the Predators intend to keep their pick, then…

    ^^^ exactamundo…

    I don’t know how NJ snaked Schneider away with the 9th overall last year, but between 6-14 is not a whole lot better than 15-35. So they think they’ll get a top 6 forward for someone who “might” make an NHL roster someday and most likely in a third line role. Maybe it could be part of a package, but it won’t work now as a straight up swap…

    • reunite vinny with lavy and trade him to nashville and swap first round picks

  6. The Pens should trade Letang for JJ and Umberger if CBJ will add some cash to bring R.J. cap hit down.. R.J. always plays good vs PITT and JJ was awesome in the Playoffs…

    • I’ve been hoping they’d find a way to bring him to Pittsburgh. RJ is the type of skilled, gritty player needed on the 3rd or 2nd lines and your deal for JJ brings a legit stud in exchange for a talented by replaceable (in our system) star in Letang. It’s no secret Maatta will usurp Letang in the next few years and will be followed by Pouliot among others so it’s time to move Letang now.